Photo: Trish O’Brien
Stewart Kelly has emerged in recent years as a pianist of great versatility who is sought-after as performer, teacher, broadcaster, producer and artistic director. Based in Melbourne, he is on the staff of the Melbourne Conservatorium at Melbourne University and the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. He is artistic director of the Music by the Springs festival and has previously directed the Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Art Song and for seven years directed the Con Brio concert series at the Arts Centre Gold Coast.
As a performer, he works as a soloist and collaborator with many of Australia’s leading instrumentalists and singers at leading concert venues and festivals around the country. He has particularly frequent partnerships with violinist Glenn Christensen, pianist Laurence Matheson and soprano Greta Bradman. In addition, his collaborators in recent years have included William Hennessy, Wilma Smith, Phoebe Russell, Stefanie Farrands, Timothy Young, Paul Dean, Sara Macliver and Patrick Murphy to mention only a few. He has performed in many leading Australian venues, at Festivals in Tasmania, Hepburn Springs, Mackay, Townsville, Brisbane and Coramba and internationally in New Zealand, China, Italy and the USA.
Stewart’s playing has also been broadcast widely, recording for the ABC with Stefanie Farrands, and numerous concert broadcasts (including live-to-air recitals) for 4MBS, ABC Classic and 3MBS. He features on a Melba records world premiere recording of an arrangement of Mahler’s second symphony for two pianos eight hands. This release was critically acclaimed worldwide and was named a ‘Hidden gem’ by the Guardian in London.
Stewart is a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology, the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and the Australian National Academy of Music. He holds a Bachelor of Music with distinction and a Master of Music Studies, obtained while studying under the principal guidance of Gillian Wills, Diane Selmon, Stephen Emmerson and Timothy Young. In 2014 he was a Fellow of the Australian National Academy of Music, Australia’s most prestigious music training institution.
Recent performances include Stewart’s New Zealand debut at the Akaroa International Music Festival, Music by the Springs, a series of recitals with Glenn Christensen, the Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Artsong.
In 2020 he directs Music by the Springs for its third iteration and returns to Beleura House, the Coffs Harbour Conservatorium Sunday Series, the Cygnet Concert series and attends the Mackay Chamber Music festival for the third consecutive year.
As a broadcaster, Stewart presents the program “Melbourne in Concert” on the 3MBS network in Melbourne. The program airs at 6pm on Sundays and can be streamed online or listened to on-demand.